But for Giuliani, a former White House official and frequent golf partner of the 45th President, getting Trump’s support is no big deal. The former president is said to be part of Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), A longtime GOP congressman and friend of the Trump family, who himself was circulated as a possible candidate.
Giuliani, whose interest in the race first came from the Washington Examiner, said he made a call to the congressman earlier this week before announcing he was considering an offer from the governor.
“Sometimes politics can get bloody, but the truth is we both want to figure out how we can help save New York,” Giuliani said, adding that he encouraged Trump to wait for the GOP primary field to take shape before offering confirmation. “He’s likely going to have a lot of allies with him. The best thing to do is sit back and watch, see a good, healthy elementary school and go from there.”
Giuliani, who lived in Washington during the Trump presidency, has no experience in elected office and is 35 years old. He said he was first approached by top Republican donors about the race in late March and intends to make a final decision later this month. A meeting is currently scheduled with New York Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy and a number of GOP officials on April 19 to discuss his case for the job and seek their assistance.
Former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who served during Mayor Giuliani’s tenure, said he had encouraged Giuliani to run for office. Giuliani was also supported by former Trump election worker Boris Epshteyn, who gave him informal advice about the race.
“He lived in that arena and worked for President Trump for three years. I think between his experience in the political world and having access to the advisors he would have, he would have a phenomenal campaign and I think he would great governor, ”said Kerik, who was convicted of tax fraud in 2010 but was later overturned by Trump.
New York hasn’t had a Republican governor since 2006 and is home to Democratic super majorities in both houses of its state assembly. Still, Giuliani insisted the political climate was ripe for a nationwide Republican victory, given current Governor Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, rising crime rates and the state’s tax burden. Should he run, Giuliani said he would focus on promoting policies “for a job and for small businesses,” lowering crime rates across the state and widening school choices for parents.
“I’ve had some big donors who started pushing and saying, ‘We want you to do this. “I honestly didn’t really think about it three weeks ago,” he said.
Zeldin met with Trump in Mar-a-Lago last month, according to Fox News, and was also encouraged by the former president’s allies to run for governor. He has made no public announcements but already appears to have the support of some of the president’s closest advisors.
On Tuesday, Trump Chief Advisor Jason Miller told Fox News, “I can’t think of any other candidate who doesn’t have the surname Trump. MAGA supporters are more excited about potentially running for governor in 2022 than Lee Zeldin.” Miller did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.
Cuomo himself is considering running for his fourth term next year, despite numerous women being accused of inappropriately touched and sexually molested. The New York attorney general is investigating these sexual harassment allegations, and the governor has also come under fire for handling coronavirus deaths in nursing homes. Most members of the New York Congress delegation, including the two Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, have called on Cuomo to resign. But it still has a positive approval rating among the state’s democratic voters.
Cuomo’s approval rating was according to a Morning Consult’s recent survey.